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Ex-CIA employee, whistleblower Edward Snowden seeks dual US-Russia citizenship

Who is Edward Snowden? 

To some, a hero. A patriot. A whistleblower. 

To others, a traitor. A leaker. 

In May of 2013, Edward Joseph Snowden copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency while serving as a Central Intelligence Agency employee and subcontractor. 

The documents revealed several global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments. 

On June 21, 2013, the United States Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden: violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property. The Department of State then revoked his passport. 

To avoid being tried on espionage charges, Snowden fled to Moscow where he was restricted to a Sheremetyevo International Airport terminal for over a month. Russia later granted Snowden the right of asylum with an initial visa to last one year. 

Snowden’s lawyer, said he will soon begin the paperwork process for getting Snowden a Russian passport, the Post reports. 

Repeated extensions of the visa allowed him to stay until he was granted permanent residency in Russia in October of 2020. 

Now, Snowden and his wife are seeking dual US-Russian citizenship so they can raise their son and visit family in America. 

He and his American wife, Lindsay Mills, are expecting a child in December who will have Russian citizenship, according to the New York Post. 

“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son. That’s why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship,” Snowden said on Twitter Monday. 

“Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love – including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited,” he said in another post. 

Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s lawyer, said he will soon begin the paperwork process for getting Snowden a Russian passport, the Post reports. 

“Edward has told me that their baby is expected to be  born in December; considering that the baby will be entitled to Russian citizenship by the birthright, he also wants to be a citizen of Russia,” Kucherena said, according to the Interfax news agency. 

Last April, Vladimir Putin signed an immigration reform into law allowing foreigners to receive a Russian passport without renouncing other citizenships. 

Edward has kept a fairly low profile while living in Russia and now serves as the president of Freedom of the Press Foundation.